A SMELL of rotten eggs similar to the odour of a gas leak drifting across southern England is from a chemical spill in France, the Health Protection Agency has said.

At least one person in the county has tweeted asking about a gas smell in North Oxford, followed by Oxfordshire County Council saying it is likely to be this aroma coming from across the Channel.

A Health Protection Agency spokesman said: "It is caused by a particularly smelly chemical that is added to odourless natural gas to give that its characteristic smell.

"The chemical leaked from a factory in Rouen, France yesterday and has blown across the Channel overnight.

"It is not toxic and has also been diluted before entering the air over England, so people should be reassured it will cause no harm. It is an unpleasant odour which may cause some people to feel slightly nauseous but it will dispel naturally."